A BLACKMAILER told a jeweller that if he did not pay him £1,300 he would burn his house down.

Anthony Wilcock posted a note under the shutters of Kinners Jewellers in Brackley Street, Farnworth, which was discovered by owner Alex Kinner on April 4.

In the note, Wilcock gave specific instructions as to how and when he should receive the cash from Mr Kinner, before stating that he would “follow through” with all of his plans, Bolton Crown Court heard.

The note went on to say: “Failure to do so will result in the burning down of your home and your departure from this world.”

Wilcock, aged 50, was yesterday jailed for four years after admitting a charge of demanding money with menaces.

The court had previously been told that Mr Kinner also received a silent call to his store’s landline and had also made arrangements to move himself, wife Anita and his family out of the area.

Judge Timothy Stead: “Blackmail is a nasty and ugly crime which often causes great anguish and suffering. This is no ill-conceived note on a scrap of paper.

“You pretended that this was a result of righteous indignation with a suggestion that the jeweller’s had bought stolen property.

“Worse than that you said in the letter a bit about yourself designed to make the readers of the letter believe that you meant business.

“You left the business £3,000 out of pocket for a variety of reasons. The effect on him and his family was absolutely awful.

“The owner’s wife was panicking and the disruption caused by this was awful and the stress immense.”

Andrew Costello, defending, told the court that Wilcock wanted to stress his remorse, and his wish to assist the family to find some closure from what must have been a traumatic event.

The court was also played CCTV footage of a hooded Wilcock leaving the note in Brackley Street, as well as footage of him without his hood minutes later in a nearby Asda supermarket.

Mr Costello said this showed Wilcock, of Buckley Lane, Farnworth, wanted to be caught.